Age Concern Stone & District – help us to help you!

Ladies of Age Concern's Tuesday  Lunch club
Ladies of Age Concern’s Tuesday Lunch club

It may be that you have just read the header Age Concern Stone and District and thought this doesn’t affect me! But the sobering thought is that if you are approaching 50 or have reached that magical figure then you are eligible for the services and help provided by our organisation!

It takes just over £11.5K to enable Age Concern Stone to run the office and to provide services, information and support to the people of Stone and the surrounding parishes. We survive solely on goodwill, grants, fund raising, donations and bequests. We offer an essential face-to-face service as being able to talk to a trained adviser who offers a friendly smile and advice is really important.

Age Concern’s Stone & District collection day held in Morrison’s was very successful and, as usual, generous Stone residents put their hands in their pockets and donated with a smile resulting in £384 –  a really big thank you to all who gave.

A problem highlighted from talking to people during the collection day was that most had no idea where the Age Concern Stone Office was or what we offered. They were also under the impression that the two Age UK charity shops in the High Street benefitted Age Concern Stone financially. This is not the case; they do not benefit Age Concern Stone in any way. Our office is situated in Station Road in Stone and is on the ground floor of the council offices , open week days 10.00 -12.30 and until 4.00pm Tuesdays.

Recent changes to benefits can be frightening; Age Concern Stone offers a host of services and advice free of charge to older people, their friends, relatives and carers. Under the guidance of main adviser Jenny Losh, office staff help with advice on all aspects of benefits such as, attendance allowance, housing issues, consumer problems and most importantly form filling, which can be a terrifying prospect to an elderly person. All this is carried out in a friendly environment and dealt with in total confidence. Age Concern works closely with other local agencies and a recent example was when staff were able to arrange help for a profoundly deaf lady who couldn’t hear her smoke alarm. The Fire Service fitted a vibrating device to her chair and bed which would alert her immediately to the danger of smoke and fire.

Age concern recognise that as people age their needs become more complex and refer some clients on to the Stone rehabilitation team, a group of local health professionals who advise the elderly on health problems affecting their physical ability to live independently. Just one referral can lead to many areas of help with equipment such as safety rails, walking aids and even time in a care home if needed.

Amongst the many services offered are coffee mornings held on Tuesday and Friday mornings where volunteers serve the cheapest drinks in town. Held in the office in Station Road from 9.45 – 11.15 am, it’s a place for a good old chin wag with friends old and new and we welcome everyone.

We have two very different lunch clubs also run by volunteers; If you fancy a trip out once a fortnight on Tuesdays to a different venue you may enjoy this club. We have lots of fun and enjoy good food, our guests decide where they would like to go and we meet at 12.30. The other is held each Thursday from 11.45 am at Bromfield Court where we have our food supplied and cooked by Summerfield Court’s Chef Chris Penny of C & G Catering. Chris has over 30 years experience in catering and his cooking is highly recommended. We enjoy a two course meal in comfortable surroundings with friendly people. If you would like to join either of these luncheon clubs just give us a call.

Age Concern Stone has recently signed a ‘Friends Agreement’ with Age UK Stafford and District. Trustees view the move as a positive step forward and one that can only benefit our organisation.

A reduced service by the Citizens Advice Bureau which is housed in the same office block means the office has an enormously increased work load. With the difficult times we’re in, Age Concern’s budget is decreasing each year and it’s becoming more difficult to help everyone but we’re proud to say we never turn anyone away without helping them in some way which can be as simple as help with a phone call or even sign posting them to another service.

You can help to make a difference to the lives of elderly residents in Stone and the surrounding areas. To ensure our office carries on running you can make a donation to the Age Concern office in Station Road or if you have a few hours to spare become a volunteer. For details email us at age-concern-stone@supanet.com or call our office on 01785 817906 or drop in and see us, we’d love to hear from you!